Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Life lessons from death

"Always take time with people in their 80s because for more than a decade, they've been looking right across the street at death and they know what's really important in life." NPR's Scott Simon said his mother told him that as he sat by her deathbed last month. Simon's comment about that is, "I don't know about you, but I can stand to hear that message." Oh, yes!

Simon hadn't planned to do so but ended up tweeting his thoughts and some of what his mother said as they shared those intimate days when she lay dying. 

In an interview later about his Twitter posts and his final days with his mother, which he saw as a gift, he said what struck him most was the brevity of life. He knows now the importance of saying what he needs to say to those he loves, of doing what he really wants to do, of focusing on life's important things.

It's true. Death can teach us many things. And one of those important life lessons is how to live. How many people do you see sleep-walking through life? Focusing on problems rather than blessings? Letting love go unspoken? Perhaps you have done that yourself at times?

Simon's tweets about his final moments with his beloved mother can be a reminder to you and me to savor our days, to stay awake and aware, to put aside differences and focus on the love we feel for each other, to make the main thing the main thing!

Why not look around you each day for the next week and find one thing that really touches your heart? Something of beauty, a loved one's eyes, a meaningful passage in a book. If you like that experience, find two things each day the next week. Make it a habit.

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